On April 7, 2011 I had an AVM rupture that caused a massive stroke. I was 30 years old at the time and I had just come back from a trip to Africa and announced my desire to move there permanently as a missionary. I was at work (I was living alone outside of Portland, OR so I could be near to the office) when my brain bled so I got help right away. Over a month later I woke up with a tube sticking out of my tummy, weird hair aberrations, and the inability to walk. Stubbornly, I refused to believe the story about why I had to live in the hospital and the fact that I couldn’t control my body parts. Comedic scenes ensued. At least they’re funny for me in retrospect – I don’t know that they were very amusing for me or my medical providers at the time. This blog chronicles my daily adventures in the wild wild west known as RecoveryLand with occasional glimpses of what my life used to be like.
For more information on the story of my recovery so far, go to www.annninglearninghow.com.
- PT = Physical Therapy/Therapist
- VT = Vision Therapy
- OT = Occupational Therapy
- ST = Speech Therapy
- PCP= Primary Care Physician
- N = Neurologist
- NP = Neuro-Psychologist/Psychiatrist
- RMD = Rehab Doctor
- PDG = Pokey Doctor Guy/Gal a.k.a. The ENT
- OD = (Neuro) Optometrist/Opthamologist.
- CMD = Chinese Medicine Doctor
- The 1st Hospital = OHSU = Oregon Health & Science University
- The 2nd Hospital = Vibra Specialty Hospital of Portland
- The 3rd Hospital = The Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon (RIO – Therapy Boot Camp)
- The Place = The 4th Hospital = The Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland (ARHM – my first as an outpatient; I learned to walk – and lots of other stuff – here)
- The New Place = NRH Montrose = Satellite Branch of Planet Rehab
- Planet Rehab = The 5th Hospital = The National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH – located in D.C.)
- Tanpo = Dad
- Baker Smurf = Mom
- Ernie = my big brother, m. Ruth (Ruthie, I immediately recognized the value you bring to our family), their kids are Karine & Ezra.
- Ai Ai (aka Boo Boo) = my big sister, m. Tim (Timmy, I have to admit, you’ve grown on me. See – I put it in writing! 🙂 their kids are H &J
- Ed = my stuffed horse, Recovery Buddy, President of the Mommy Fan Club and my Spokesperson.
- Trainer D = my Personal Trainer – he got me kicked out of Rehab
- Coach R = my Athletic Trainer – he saved me from having to be alone with Trainer D
- Smurfette = my Dietician; Trainer D’s lovely wife
- Gen = my astonishingly talented Massage Therapist
- (Ninja) CMD = my Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor – for acupuncture etc.
Please note, especially if you’re sick: Being sick isn’t a walk in the park. There is so much heavy lifting for you and your caregivers, and I’m sorry you have to jump through so many hoops. One of the most frustrating things for me while I was still hospitalized and didn’t fully understand what had happened to me was the constant temptation to compare myself to other patients, e.g. How is it that this man arrived after me and is going home before me? or Why can she walk and I can’t? So I try not to compare anymore, and am asking you to do the same. If you’ve found my site/blog because you’re at the end of your rope and are researching courses of treatment for yourself, remember that worked for me may not work for you, and what didn’t work for me might be fabulous for you. Please do your research and choose what’s right for you – every situation is different. You can just use my writing to laugh at me hitting myself in the head or losing my marble. In the meantime, I’m wishing you a fast and full recovery.